Friday, March 25, 2011

Various and Sundry, March 25

Just a friendly public service reminder: one week until opening day.

A couple of infographics for you this week. First, a reassuring infographic on radiation doses (words I never thought I'd put together)from xkcd. (click for larger)

Second, a flow chart on how to have a rational discussion from Simoleon Sense. I'd love to see these printed up on handy 3 X 5 cards for ease of distribution.

These guidelines might have helped those who felt the need to respond to Rob Bell's new book Love Wins before they read it. This imbroglio has been kind of odd and painful to watch from the sidelines as a former evangelical. If you haven't heard the news about this, this is the book in which Bell, the pastor of a highly influential emergent church in Michigan, suggests that maybe God, being loving and all, doesn't automatically send unbelievers (such as Gandhi) to hell, and he was quickly branded a dangerous heretic. I might blog about this in future, but in the meantime, here's one blog entry about the kerfuffle I greatly appreciated, partly because I felt I could have written it. So, hey, maybe I don't need to write about this after all.

Meanwhile, there was an excellent example of a discussion in action in the news this week. It was one of those neighborhood spats, and the solution was...the neighbors talked TO EACH OTHER rather than send nasty official screeds. And here they are! Don't they look friendly and not scary and mean? It was a very encouraging story in the middle of a lot of bad news. Sermon fodder, people!

Finally, my favorite obit of the week: Dorothy Young, the last surviving stage assistant of Harry Houdini who never revealed his secrets. In 1924, "she was spotted by Houdini and his manager, who asked her to dance the Charleston; she signed a year’s contract and was sworn to secrecy about the mysteries of Houdini’s act. She then had to persuade her parents that joining the great illusionist was a suitable career move." Isn't that always the way with parents?

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